REVIEW: Happy Toy Machine
Happy Toy Machine lets you create your own cool, cute, and crazy custom plush (stuffed) toys. Design as many toys as you want for free, share them with your friends, and only buy one when you're ready. When you order (they'll) make your one-of-a-kind custom toy and ship it straight to you.
There are several “design your own toy” websites out there. Happy Toy Machine allows you to create your own design or pick one from a gallery of characters made by other users. You can start with a specific type of character (bear, monster, cat, alien, etc.) and add or swap out elements.
You can choose from the following items: head, body, arms, legs, tail, wings, horns, eyes, eyebrows, nose, mouth, hair ears, facial features, and decorations on the front of the plush. There are also a few items currently in development, including: shirts, pants, dresses, shoes, hats, music and sounds. Then you can choose the color of those items, add text or image files, and resize or move elements.
Once you are done creating your character in the Happy Toy Machine, pay for it and wait for it to be delivered.
Your creation comes packaged in a plastic bag with a Happy Toy Machine sticker on the front. There is a tag on the plush that reads “I made this at happy toy machine”.
I decided to create a little something for my son – hence the “Ian's Robot” label across its' chest. I named him Mr. Roboto, and, as you can see from my design, he was a fairly simple design. The plush is primarily grey, black and green.
Let's first look at the web interface. It's rather simple to create your character. I did have a few instances where I was pulled away from designing and the page timed out. So I needed to restart the design process a few times. A number of the items that they have in development, especially the sound and music, will really set them apart from other designer your own toy websites.
As far as the plush toy goes...it's very well made. Happy Toy Machine uses plush material similar to that of Uglydolls. It's extremely soft. All of the facial elements, as well as the “Ian's Robot” star design, are embroidered. (I usually like embroidering over sewn-on patches when it comes to a plush toy that will be played with.) And it turned out pretty darn close to the character I put in to the Happy Toy Machine.
In addition to the scores below, if I had to grade the web interface, I would give it a C. Luckily, that's the easiest aspect to update and fix.
You can pick one up at the following:
HappyToyMachine.com: Regular (10" to 15") - $29.99 Large (20" to 26") - $49.99
Happy Toy Machine Grades
Plush Quality: 8/10
Fun Factor: 9/10